# Software recommendations for writing a novel?

This is my first time using Ubuntu so I'm little lost about which softwares are good in use and which are not... I have now LibreOffice and that will do for now but when my first draft is ready I'm going to need something where I can view my text one chapter or scene at the time. That really helps me with editing. So basically what I need is something like yWriter where I can put that massive textwall from LibreOffice as chpaters and scenes. I heard that I can get it work with Wine or something but if there is already similar sofware designed for Ubuntu, I would prefer to try that. Any recommendations?

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This question is probably a better-fit for the softwarerecs.stackexchange.com site. –  BryceAtNetwork23 Jun 22 '14 at 13:52
Rakshasi might have a hard time getting recommendations for software designed for Ubuntu at Software Recommendations Q&A. –  karel Jun 22 '14 at 15:15
@karel Even though it's a beta site, there are currently 38 questions there tagged as "Ubuntu" so that shouldn't be a problem: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/ubuntu –  BryceAtNetwork23 Jun 22 '14 at 17:36
@BryceAtNetwork23 Ubuntu isn't the issue (38 question? We need to do some cleanup… most of them should be tagged linux instead, since very little software is specific to Ubuntu). But the question isn't fit for Software Recommendations because it lacks clear requirements. Rackshasi, if you feel like asking on SR.SE instead of here (and even if you don't), please read our guidelines for software recommendation questions. It isn't at all clear what specific functionality you want, at least to someone who hasn't used yWriter. –  Gilles Jun 22 '14 at 18:49
Ok, thanks @Gilles! –  BryceAtNetwork23 Jun 22 '14 at 18:54

LibreOffice Writer can turn any document into a PDF document. Not only that it can turn any document into a nicely formatted document. LibreOffice Writer can even turn any document into an exactly formatted PDF document that is indistinguishable from an ebook. In short, LibreOffice Writer is a very versatile and powerful application if you don't mind the learning curve.

Once you have created the PDF document, you can use PDF-Shuffler from the Ubuntu Software Center to rearrange the pages of your document any way you want to like dealing out cards from a deck of cards. You can "deal" out the pages individually or in groups and merge, rearrange, split and crop the document. You can also view the whole document as a massive textwall made of individual pages and scroll through the document and zoom in and out.

This solution has one limitation. The only easy way to edit the text of the document is to make a copy of the original document and edit the changes in the text using LibreOffice Writer. So you would be using PDF-Shuffler to help you to visualize possible changes in the flow of your document, rather than to edit the text of the document.

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This is the sort of task on which LaTeX excels. It abstracts you entirely from formatting or paging issues and provides you great flexibility managing your document. In particular, LaTeX allows a modular approach to document structure through the inclusion of multiple files. The explanation from the Wiki:

Getting LaTeX to process multiple files

As your work grows, your LaTeX file can become unwieldy and confusing, especially if you are writing a long article with substantial, discrete sections, or a full-length book. In such cases it is good practice to split your work into several files. For example, if you are writing a book, it makes a lot of sense to write each chapter in a separate .tex file. LaTeX makes this very easy thanks to two commands:

\input{filename}

and

\include{filename}

The differences between these two ways to include files will be explained below. What they have in common is that they process the contents of filename.tex before continuing with the rest of the base file. When the compiler processes your base file (the file that contains these statements) and reaches the command \input or \include, it reads filename.tex and processes its content in accordance with the formatting commands specified in the base file. This way you can put all the formatting options in your base file and then \input or \include the files which contain the actual content of your work. This means that the important part of your working process, i.e. writing, is kept largely separate from formatting choices (which is one of the main reasons why LaTeX is so good for serious writing!). You will thus be dealing solely with text and very basic commands such as \section, \emph etc. Your document will be uncluttered and much easier to work with.

You can even organise your document parts in their own folder structure and then include them in a single master file using relative or absolute disk paths.

If LaTeX is a novelty to you, this is probably the right time start, ahead of a new writing project. You can follow a tutorial like this to get acquainted.

Happy writing.

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try installing story boards where you can actually create some scenes animated and you can get detailed view of what's going on with your story

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